Hello friends! Can’t believe it’s August and Labor Day is peeking around the corner. Summer is flying by!
Let’s rewind back to Memorial Day weekend for a minute though. I owe you guys a race recap for state #19: Massachusetts!
Yes, that was more than two months ago. Sorry for the delay. Things happen. Laziness happens. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The race was a good one — I did Boston’s Run to Remember. It honors the city’s first responders killed in the line of duty. The weather was beautiful, the race was well-organized, there was amazing course support, annnnd I finished with a PR. Second PR that month!
I highly recommend this race if you’re looking for a good half marathon in the Boston area.
Saturday before the race
I arrived in Boston early on Saturday — so early my room at my hotel wasn’t ready yet. I stayed at the Aloft Seaport in South Boston. Really cute hotel and part of the Starwood Preferred Guest family, which I am a member of. They let me leave my bags there while I explored the city.
First stop: the race expo at the Seaport Trade Center.
The expo setup was really nice. There were photographs of first responders lining the hallway and a children’s area with games in the back. There were tons of vendors, as usual with race expos.
Got my bib and shirt!
As I was heading out, I met a little girl who had just completed the Kids Fun Run, an event that’s part of Boston’s Run to Remember.
It was her first race! She was so cute. Her mom was running the half marathon the next day, so we chatted a bit about that. I love meeting other runners and hearing their stories when I travel. It’s part of what makes this whole experience so amazing — connecting with others and learning about other people’s backgrounds.
Afterward, I dropped my race stuff off at the hotel and went off to eat and hang out in the city.
I was in Boston earlier this year in February, so I was already familiar with the layout of the city and knew which parts I wanted to visit again. There were also places I didn’t get to see during the last visit that I wanted to squeeze into this trip. One of those places was Neptune Oyster.
My co-worker, Erin, highly recommended the place. She warned about the notoriously long wait times, so I decided to get there early. I arrived around 11:30 a.m. (when they open). Apparently this was not early enough. The wait time for one person was already 2.5 hours. (WHAT?!)
I put my name down for a spot and went to a nearby coffee shop for some caffeine.
The wait ended up being only 2 hours.
And let me tell you, it was worth it.
First, I had some oysters, which were good.
But what made the experience amazing, was the lobster roll.
It was a plate of warm, buttery deliciousness. So good. I would wait all over again for another one.
I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around the city — browsed the shops along Newbury Street, hung out in Boston Commons and the Public Garden, strolled through Faneuil Hall, and watched street performers near Quincy Market. I did most of these things during my visit earlier this year, but it was nice to do them all again in warmer weather.
By evening time, I was exhausted and ready for a quick dinner and bed. I snacked throughout the day, so for dinner I just had some pizza and beer at the hotel bar.
And then was in bed by 9:30 p.m.
The race start time was 7 a.m.
I woke up around 4:30 to start my usual race day routine: coffee, protein bar, wash up, stretch, put running clothes on, etc., etc.
I was out the door and on my way to the start line around 6:30.
It was a beautiful morning — sunny and in the 60s. The area around the start line was packed when I arrived.
Apparently this is the largest half marathon in Boston, with over 10,000 runners participating in the race.
Before we started, the race director gave a tribute to some of the men and women who lost their lives that year while serving. We also heard from some members of the community that knew the first responders. Afterward, we listened to a woman with an amazing voice sing the national anthem.
And then we were off.
It was a beautiful, easy course going through downtown Boston, passing by most of the sites I saw the previous day: Feneuil Hall, Boston Common, the Public Garden, the Government Center, and the State House.
The weather was perfect, however, I was a little overdressed. I was wearing a long sleeve tech shirt, but should have worn a tank top. Aside from being too hot, I had a great race. I felt strong throughout the entire course, and ended up beating my PR in Ohio by three minutes! Was pretty excited about that.
The finish line was in the same area as the start. After I got my medal, I walked up to an overpass to watch other runners cross the finish line.
And then I made my way back to the hotel to shower and dress.
I had some time before my evening flight back to DC.
My final stop in Boston?
A pizza place called Regina’s.
It’s one of the most highly rated pizza places in Boston (according to online reviews and Yelp, and also the hotel manager). We tried a couple of times in February to go, but both times, the line was long and running out the door. It was freezing, and there was no way we were going to wait outside for an undetermined amount of time, so we passed.
Regina’s was on my must-go list for this trip. I should note that there are several Regina’s around Boston, but the highly rated one is the original location in the North End on 11 1/2 Thatcher Street.
I got there a little before noon, and sure enough, the line was out the door.
Fortunately, I only had to wait about 30 minutes (which is nothing after waiting 2 hours for Neptune’s the previous day!). I was seated at the end of their small bar, next to another solo traveler who was awkwardly squished between a barstool and her suitcase.
We ended up chatting during our entire meal.
She ordered a cheese pizza. I got a pizza with pepperoni, bacon and basil.
The pizza was eh, and not worth the wait, in my opinion.
My pie had a medium crust that was a little too hard and crunchy, almost as if the dough was overcooked or something (it didn’t look overcooked though). But the flavor was fine, and there was a garlic dipping sauce that came with the pizza that was pretty delicious.
Would I go back?
Sure, but not if I have to wait.
I was glad I got to try it though, and it made for a good ending to a great race trip.
Name: Boston’s Run to Remember
Date: Sunday, May 28, 2017
Registration cost: $105
Race day weather: Sunny, 60s
Race start time: 7 a.m. ET
Course description: Through downtown Boston, flat, some minor hills
Race organization: Very organized Finish time: 2:07:54 (9:46 pace)
Food/drinks: about $100